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Civilization 6: Ideas

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Pepo, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. shaglio

    shaglio The Prince of Dorkness

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    That's the guy! I have know clue whether or not 64 bit is better than 32 bit, but it seems like, in every post he made, he would bring up the topic.
     
  2. Sherlock

    Sherlock Just one more turn...

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    BE was a cash-grab re-skin of CiV and Starships is a low budget tablet game ported to PC (which may be fun, who knows, but it's not an A-list title).

    So what is Firaxis up to? My guess is announce CiVI this fall so as not to cannibalize BE sales between now and then.

    But who knows?
     
  3. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Warlord

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    BE is a spinoff; it's been patched and with the announcement of the new Starships game may already be forgotten. It didn't have most of Civ V's team working on it, so Civ VI should probably be in development.

    These days, however, games tend to be announced much closer to release than they were in the past, and companies seem to prefer to wait for the big annual game expos to announce major releases. So Civ VI will probably be announced whenever the next big games show is on.
     
  4. steveg700

    steveg700 Warlord

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    Civilization is a major cash cow, so it would be a pretty bad move for Firaxis not to make a significant investment in it. That it's expensive isn't a reason not to do it if you intend to remain solvent. I grimace a bit every time I see posts on this forum where people continue to advocate the position that developers in general or Firaxis specifically shouldn't be expected to do anything ambitious just because it's resource-intensive.

    So, having said that, here are my thoughts on what a new game could do right:

    1) Resources should really matter. They should be a prime reason why wars are fought. Currently, the happiness yield from luxuries is not worth the happiness it's going to cost to plant a city near it. And for the most part nobody cares about the supposedly elite units that you get from having so-called strategic resources. The bennies for being a resource mogul are just too puny. Food and fuel should be vital commodities in their own right.

    I tend to think iron and horses should let you customize a unit rather than create their own entirely new units. Having lots of iron means more heavily armored units that can use tower-shield tactics. Outfit a unit with horses, and you get cavalry. Combine iron and horses, you get knights and other forms of heavy cav.

    2) Make sure that for every input there's an appropriate output. An income like gold should not just buy permanent benefits like buildings, because eventually you can wind up finding you've bought everything and yet you're still accumulating wealth. It should be able buy lots of ephemeral benefits as well. For instance, consider that any benefit received from a city-state should be the product of a contract that costs money. Gaining a base amount of influence with a CS unlocks the ability to purchase their services, and high amounts of influence should probably improve the quality of their services, but kill that notion that being a friend or ally gives you an automatic benefit on the order of providing every city with free food.

    Likewise, influence with CS's shouldn't gained from purely passive qualifiers like generating more culture or faith than everyone else, or for connecting horses or gems to their network. Make the civ's *give them* that resource. Stop giving away significant advantages for doing business as usual.

    Trade routes are another area of getting something major for a meager investment. I can send food and hammers around from within my empire that literally come out of thin air. Or I can send it to another civ and just get free gold. I don't even have to allocate a unit of population to working that route.

    Oh, and for all that's holy, bring back gold-rushing production. No idea why this was done away with, but they threw away a major money sink for players when they decided players shouldn't be able to shave a few rounds off of production times with moolah.

    3) Fix 1UPT combat. It just doesn't work on the scale of map that Civ uses. Perhaps for each terrain type there should be a battlefield map that units appear on. This is actually kind of similar to what they did with XCom, just with groups of specialized units instead of individual specialized soldier.

    Part and parcel of using a tactical map is switching to integrated turns. That is to say, players take turns according to some criteria that generally ensures one player won't have to sit like a punching bag until all of his opponent's units get to move. Rather, players take turns moving units, perhaps according to an initiative stat.

    Looking at my comments, I'd say in general that Endless Legend really made a lot of improvements on the model Civilization set in place. In EL, accesses to resources really shape your empire, but at the same time the benefits they provide are both temporary and require that resource to be expended. Likewise, getting an NPC civ to ally with you takes some active effort. And they do a good job with 1UPT.
     
  5. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Warlord

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    Strategic resources really should be important - as should some luxuries. Civ games have to give you victory conditions as an excuse to go to war as the design stands, because there isn't the competition that leads to real-world warfare. Resources in general should be rarer in the landscape, and each should provide appropriate benefits - not being able to develop certain technologies without them (Iron Working with no iron?), a boost to certain techs (copper increasing research speed towards Bronze Working and Electronics, for instance) - something that will make them worth fighting over.

    Also, further develop the system for strategic resources and buildings. Units become obsolete and their resources then become useless - more buildings should require and/or benefit from an input of certain resources.

    This simply isn't very practical with the Civ combat engine, where units vary along exactly three axes - movement, attack, and defence. A cavalry unit with a strength and armour bonus relative to a horsemen can just be represented by a wholly separate, advanced horse unit unlocked at Chivalry - exactly as Civ already does. Alpha Centauri's unit workshop was just so much pointless busywork. Just restore the Civ IV system where a unit can have more than one strategic resource requirement (in the case of knights, both horses and iron).

    The system you describe doesn't even work terribly well for Endless Legend, which has much more variation in nominal unit statistics - although that might be because most of these statistics do much the same thing and there's not a lot of difference between a weapon that gives a bonus to attack success at the cost of damage and one that gives an equivalent bonus to damage at the cost of attack success, and the main difference between - say - a spear and an equivalent-level sword is in the special abilities they grant.

    One thing I'd like to see implemented here is a system of linking trade improvements to trade routes - so that you only gain income from trade posts or customs houses that are along trade routes, for instance.

    Never been a fan of this idea, and playing Endless Legend only confirms that it's a non-starter - every battle tedious and overlong, and likely harder for the AI to use effectively (though EL's system is hampered by particularly small tactical maps with restricted movement options for both player and AI). 1UPT is fine on Civ V's scale; what isn't fine is the design of the ranged unit mechanic. Remove it altogether or restrict it to city attacks from siege units and bombardment from ships and cities.

    I noticed that your suggestions mostly mirrored Endless Legend, but Endless Legend - while a welcome addition to the 4x landscape - is fundamentally not a model to copy for a strategy game. It unashamedly overemphasises its roleplaying features, from equipping units to its much-expanded NPC quest system to its story quest system to expending 'boosters', and its strategic layer amounts to just so much pressing "next turn". As far as Amplitude games go, for all that it's a worse game than EL, Endless Space's monopoly system is a better way to treat resources strategically than EL's "mine wine (yes, really), press Next Turn 10 times, activate booster". Nothing much about EL's region system really encourages competition naturally, so the game uses an arbitrary 'one city per region' mechanic to force the player to go to war to secure any additional resources they need, rather than actually giving them a more natural incentive to do so (such as ES' "if I control a monopoly of X, I reap the benefits in form Y")
     
  6. Teproc

    Teproc Chieftain

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    Nowhere did I say they shouldn't fix the combat AI, I just said I don't expect them to. I'm not particularly happy about it.

    As for the input/output thing, eh. People looove to make fun of trade routes in CiV with food that "comes out of nowhere", but the whole point of free trade is that you really are creating value out of thin air (not literally of course, but by trading you are being more effective in your use of things, see the famous Ricardo example of wine vs cloth). CiV clearly tried to stay away from having negative things happening, which I'm not sure is so bad, it doesn't take away choices, it just says that instead of saying "do bad thing X to do good thing Y", it becomes "do good thing X OR do good thing Y", which leads to a more accessible gameplay I think. People call it "dumbing down" or whatever, but I'm not entirely sure what is lost here.

    I do agree that there is a problem of scale that comes with ranged combat as it stands right now. Basically being able to shoot over a tile should only come with Artillery, other ranged units should work like the Gatling Gun does now. But I don't think there's an inherent scaling problem with 1UPT, or at least not a major one.
     
  7. Teproc

    Teproc Chieftain

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    And that's "childish" and/or bad because ... ?

    If you actually look at leaderscreens, I'd say the CIV ones were more cartoonish actually.
     
  8. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    its a trolling post, why to respond
    diplomacy is better than ever in civ5 and the art is less cartoonish as it was already said

    actually axe warriors are represented with the Warrior unit (hint: he has an axe on its icon)
    and civ4's untis are historical nonsense.. axemen beating swordsmen? suicidal catapults? city raider tanks?
     
  9. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    in civ6 i'd like to see less science/warfare-dominated play, that is more catch-up mechanics like bonuses for researching techs known to others and scholars in residence resolution. those might be foreign investment, arms traffic (was in civ1 iirc), mercenaries (kinda realized by military cs, though i didnt receive up-to date units from them as they continued to feed me crossbowmen while having gatlings already) and black market.

    and Culture should be stronger emphasized, even though civ5 has already made huge improvements in this aspect of the game.
     
  10. Haig

    Haig Warlord

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    Please let Ed Beach be the lead designer.. G&K and BNW are great.

    Hope it's not Sid Meier, last time Sid designed a major Civ game we got.. Civ:Revolution.. :(
     
  11. Socratatus

    Socratatus Chieftain

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    You don`t think BE have a raft of DLCs\expansions to make and sell yet? In fact I`m waiting for the DLCs to see if it makes the game better like it did with Civ5 and worth purchasing.

    They`re not done with it by a long way yet. m8.
     
  12. Myth and Legend

    Myth and Legend Chieftain

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    Thrace

    UU: First Pantheon: You may choose any pantheon belief, even if it has already been chosen before. Cities it has spread to benefit from your pantheon even if a foreign religion becomes dominant.

    UB: Burial Mound: Replaces Shrine. 1 faith per turn, 1 happiness, free upkeep. Gain your culture per turn as a culture boost upon expending a great person.

    UU: Thracian Peltast: +6 combat strength, -1 range, +30% versus melee units. Upgrades to composite bowman, keeps the 30% vs melee bonus.
     
  13. steveg700

    steveg700 Warlord

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    Agree with all this. Good ideas.

    The takeaway from what you're saying is just that you need bonuses that go beyond flat bonuses like attack and defense. In the current game, you unlock a mighty, elite iron-based Strength 14 swordsman at Iron Working, only to find that he's eclipsed by your enemy civ's vanilla pikeman. So now nobody even bothers with swordsmen. Japan and Denmark get a unique unit that's good for about two minutes, since a vanilla musketman will outclass them. Now, is that supposed to be a system that's working well?

    This can be addressed by with more situational modifiers. For instance, use Iron to get a bonus against ranged attacks, simulating a shield-wall formation tactic (akin to the Cover promotion).

    This is one of the most common dichotomies in gaming: everyone's impatient and wants something streamlined, but streamlining usually involves removing decisions. Without decisions, you don't have tactics. Without tactics, you're just pushing a button or flipping a coin and accepting the result. So, you can have a fast-and-dirty combat system where you just smash stacks together, and you mostly know what the outcome will be before combat begins (since you're pretty much just playing poker with everyone's hand face-up on the table). Or you can have a war that's both strategic and tactical that's time-intensive. Of course, a 4X game is almost inherently time-intensive. It's "one...more...turn" if the gameplay is engrossing, "tedious and overlong" when it's not.

    Yes, ranged units are the big problem in 1UPT. There are a lot of fixes, like lowering archery units to 1 range or, conversely, eliminating their ability to attack adjacent units altogether. They should probably do 0 damage to melee units attacking them. Of course, integrated turns also addresses this, since you can't just have four units mass-fire one unit into oblivion.

    However, they're not the only problem with 1UPT. Mounted units are also unable to take advantage of their mobility. Ranged units wouldn't be so OP if cavalry could rush them, but what happens instead is the map scale kneecaps them. There are hills, forests, jungles, mountains, lakes, rivers, or some other movement-bleeding feature pretty much everywhere--and oh yeah, cities and units themselves--so there's rarely any room to maneuver. The map size fails to provide a proper field of battle.

    Of course, this is largely just paraphrasing Jon Shafer:

    Spoiler :
    "In Civ 5, every unit needed its own tile, and that meant the map filled up pretty quickly. To address this, I slowed the rate of production, which in turn led to more waiting around for buckets to fill up. For pacing reasons, in the early game I might have wanted players to be training new units every 4 turns. But this was impossible, because the map would have then become covered in Warriors by the end of the classical era. And once the map fills up too much, even warfare stops being fun.

    "...The key is the map. Is there enough of room to stash units freely and slide them around each other? If so, then yes, you can do it. For this to be possible, I'd think you would have to increase the maximum map size [of Civ 5] by at least four times. You'd probably also want to alter the map generation logic to make bottlenecks larger and less common."


    The problematic elements that you mention with EL are not elements that I made allusions to in my previous post. I don't care for the restrictive region system. I don't really feel like the game is driving me to explore or interact with other civ's very much. I don't even feel like resources are so vital that you ought to be overly competitive for them, as they are so many and varied and distributed pretty evenly. If your expansion is capped, so is your drive to acquire.

    However, I'm not sure what's wrong with a fantasy-themed game "unashamedly" emphasizing fantasy elements. It's good that quests actually require you to go do things. As for outfitting units, that's just taking what's considered a norm from space 4x games and transplanting it into something that hews closer to Civilization than Master of Orion. Good but deeply flawed game, like Civ V and pretty much every 4x game. Nobody's really gotten it yet, AFAIK.

    Regarding the Monopoly bonus, I would like to see more things like that. See my Mughals build in the link below.
     
  14. steveg700

    steveg700 Warlord

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    Well, if everything is convenient and all your choices are good, then what's lost is a sense of accomplishment for skillful execution, and a sense of consequence for being a bonehead.

    So, I can just set up cities in a barren desert or on rocky hills where there's limited food and the cities can hardly feed themselves. But no worries, even though they aren't generating a food surplus at all--heck, they could even be starving--they can still use trade routes to ferry food back and forth between each other.

    On the other hand, you could set up a perfect farm belt city, generating a huge food surplus. Grain as far as the eye can see. But wait, Breadsylvania sends just as much food along its trade routes as Rock Sandwich City. That surplus isn't a commodity in any way, since it's trapped inside the city, untappable.

    The failure to have cities strategically network their individual resources like parts of one great machine means that a big part Civilization's appeal is pretty much missing one of the key considerations of simulating an empire. For many civilizations, this was significant. Rome would starve without grain from its vassal, Egypt. Poland's empire was dependent upon selling food to other nations. Germany went on the warpath to grab more farmland.
     
  15. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    I would like to see more units but not much management of units than we have now. One idea I have to address this contradiction is that, after initial builds, xp towards promotions would accumulate fast, but only based on the combat a unit was doing/facing. After the second or third city bombardment, for example, a unit would gain cover. For amphibious, a unit would have to attacking over a river. Things like that.
     
  16. tribefaninnc

    tribefaninnc Chieftain

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    I think it would be cool if climate changed, i.e the base hexes evolved a bit over time. Maybe some hills pop up. Maybe tundra or desert retreats or expands. Maybe your Oasis dries up. Maybe it gets too hot for your deer. That kinda thing.
     
  17. shaglio

    shaglio The Prince of Dorkness

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    I really like this idea. It reminds me of the Elder Scrolls games: if you want to up your Athletics skill, start jump and climbing. If you want to increase your Destruction skill, start tossing around fireballs.
     
  18. steveg700

    steveg700 Warlord

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    Well, it would be cool if your terrain influenced your units' capabilities.

    What we have now is that you get a civ like Morocco, and their unique unit gets a desert bonus. Then on the backend they give the civ a bias towards having desert near the capital. You aren't adapting to the hand you're dealt. That hand is adapted by the game to the civ you chose.

    I could go for a system where you wind up picking up abilities over time, but there's need to be a resource for acquiring them rather than just "skills for kills". Maybe tie it into culture.
     
  19. pfaffa

    pfaffa Chieftain

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    The Civ4 mod Fall from Heaven 2 had a system like this, there were fewer units but they got special promotions based on the resources you had. An example is a Warrior with a Bronze Weapons is on par with the more advanced Axeman with no upgrades (Stone Weapons essentially). I was surprised Firaxis didn't include such a feature in Civ5, they knew that the mod existed (they asked them to make the Age of Ice scenario for BtS).
     
  20. PhilBowles

    PhilBowles Warlord

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    No, I don't. It's not a major Civ release, hence the rather limited effort put into changing the engine and the apparently short timescale from development to release. Purely because the market's changed since Civ IV it will probably have some minor DLC support in a way that Civ IV: Colonization didn't, but the chances are the only 'expansion' it will see is whatever form the rumoured cross-play in Sid Meier's Starships will take. Recall that Firaxis were resistant to the idea of producing an expansion even for Civ V at first - they certainly won't be taking time to develop one for a side-project like Beyond Earth.

    Not at all - the alternative approach is simply not to have customisable units rather than tacking on special abilities the combat system doesn't need purely to justify unit customisation (again a la Endless Legend).

    That wouldn't be functionally any different from simply giving the unit a straight special ability that gives it a cover bonus - it's hardly as though shields are the things that are conventionally made from iron in any case. Bad balancing of specific units on the tech tree isn't an argument against the system; EL's upgrade system is equally stocked with redundant upgrades (iron upgrades that are redundant the moment you get titanium, for instance) and essentially useless base unit types.

    This sort of generalisation isn't helpful in identifying where tactical lapses lie in the current system that can be resolved by a tactical map. For instance, Endless Legend's multi-round 'tactical' system is arguably less tactical than Civ V's - there are a grand total of two terrain types, there's no rule to reflect the impact of flanking rather than attacking from the front beyond the fact that more units can attack that way. EL gives you a 'tactical map' approach that basically plays like a stack fight.

    Of course, that's one specific example of an attempted tactical system. Using Endless Legend - a creditable enough attempt at adding a new name to the 4x genre to justify the attention it's received (if not the acclaim), but fundamentally a much less polished or accomplished effort than the Civ games - as a punchbag is not necessarily a fair criticism of the idea as a whole. EL also lacks a real tactical map - it just parcels out a fundamentally too-small area of the main map to fight on. But it's not very clear what, fundamentally, a separate tactical system could add that would resolve Civ V's core problems with 1UPT. Any Total War veteran can tell you that taking a true dual approach to a game on Civ V's scale would be unbearable - even that series' most ardent players end up autoresolving most of their battles in a campaign's latter stages. Rome 2 comes pretty close to collapsing under the weight of tedium due to its expanded scale and campaign length, so anything beyond that scale really would be unworkable.

    I'm not sure this is an insurmountable problem either. I've seen plenty of cases where favourable map conditions exist where cavalry can work to good effect, and the AI is even able to take advantage of it. Give cavalry an ability to ignore zones of control as they move, and they can get past blockading units and execute flank attacks more effectively. Limiting or removing the ranged mechanic will make them more effective simply by making them very much harder to engage in combat.

    Nothing at all is wrong with it - however it offers very little insight into the way a non-fantasy game should adjust its mechanics. Civ is at its core a stategy game; EL is at its core a roleplaying game on a hex map.
     

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